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The latest Ethiopian invasion of Somalia is a conflict between the Islamic Courts

Union (ICU) and US-sponsored Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and

Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT), a group of Somali warlords backed by Ethiopia and the US



U.S.-Ethiopian Occupation of Somalia

Millions Displaced in "Worst Humanitarian Disaster"

By Glen Ford


George Bush, who has violated every international law known to man, still believes he has the moral authority to “law down the law” to Robert Mugabe, in Zimbabwe. Bush took his anti-Mugabe hysteria to Japan, this weekend, for the yearly meeting of the world’s eight most powerful industrial nations, the G-8. Seven African nations were there as well, constituting the “African Outreach Group.” They served notice on Bush, the Brits and other rich countries that they continue to oppose sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, the United States is directly complicit in what the United Nations has called the “worst humanitarian disaster” in Africa. The Ethiopian invasion of Somalia, launched in late 2006 with massive air, naval and logistical support from the Americans, has resulted in the displacement of 3.5 million people, 700,000 from the capital city of Mogadishu, alone. More than two-and-a-half million Somalis face starvation – a figure that could rise to three-and-a-half million by the end of this year. A recent Amnesty International report on human rights violations in Somalia, said Ethiopian soldiers have begun “slaughtering Somalis like goats” – meaning, killing them by cutting their throats. Amnesty International’s Deputy Africa Director put it this way: “'The people of Somalia are being killed, raped, tortured; looting is widespread and entire neighborhoods are being destroyed.”

“Ethiopian soldiers have begun ‘slaughtering Somalis like goats’ – meaning, killing them by cutting their throats.”

The U.S. has made Ethiopia its hit man in the Horn of Africa, a decision that is guaranteed to destabilize the entire region. That’s part of the American modus operandi: to create chaos – always resulting in mass deaths among the poor – in order to declare Africans unfit to run their own affairs. This is a theme that plays well among U.S. corporate media, who have dutifully pushed the Bush line on Zimbabwe, but go months without even mentioning the American-made crisis in Somalia. Democratic Party leadership is no better, including presidential nominee-to-be Barack Obama, whose father was born in Kenya, Somalia’s neighbor. Obama, the Speaker of the House and the top Democrat in the Senate are all mum on U.S. crimes against the Somali people.

Before the Americans instigated the Ethiopians to invade Somalia, something resembling peace had settle over the country. Islamist groups had succeeded in defeating the warlords that were bankrolled by the United States. Virtually all reports indicated that Somalis had cause to hope for a better future for the first time since the country descended into chaos in 1992. But peace was unacceptable to the United States, which is determined to militarize the entire continent of Africa, in order to secure its oil resources. Already, the Somali puppet government installed by the Ethiopians and their American backers is inviting international energy companies to exploit their virgin oil reserves. This lust for oil has already cost Somalia its national sovereignty. It may also cost millions of lives.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

photo above: Secretary Rice with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

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Other Reports

U.S. Used Base in Ethiopia to Hunt Al Qaeda—The American military quietly waged a campaign from Ethiopia last month to capture or kill top leaders of Al Qaeda in the Horn of Africa, including the use of an airstrip in eastern Ethiopia to mount airstrikes against Islamic militants in neighboring Somalia, according to American officials. . . . While Washington resisted officially endorsing an Ethiopian invasion, American officials from several government agencies said that the Bush administration decided last year that an incursion was the best option to dislodge the Islamists from power. When the Ethiopian offensive began on Dec. 24, it soon turned into a rout, somewhat to the Americans’ surprise. Armed with American intelligence, the Ethiopians’ tank columns, artillery batteries and military jets made quick work of the poorly trained and ill-equipped Islamist militia. . . . A Navy flotilla began to search for ships that might be carrying fleeing Qaeda operatives. Support planes were deployed in Djibouti. F-15Es from Al Udeid air base in Qatar also flew missions. Intelligence was shared with Ethiopia and Kenya through C.I.A. operatives in each country. American military planners also worked directly with Ethiopian and Kenyan military officials. NYTimes

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Getting Ethiopia out of Somalia—When the Union of Islamic Courts defeated the U.S.—backed warlords, the Bush administration—using the war on terrorism as justification—supported the Ethiopian occupation, arguing that the Islamists were an emerging threat to U.S. interests. But approaching the complex conflict in this simplistic way and linking it to the war on terror was a mistake. The United States has inadvertently stepped into a local, tribal and regional quagmire. The resistance groups—clans, business groups and Islamists - are challenging the occupying Ethiopian troops and the warlord government in many ways. Recent events in Mogadishu and Kismayo indicate that ignoring their grievances will only perpetuate the conflict. The fighting has multiple causes - competition for resources, repression, the country's colonial legacy, widespread atrocities and politicized clan identity. Ethiopia, through its proxy warlords, was the principal spoiler of peace efforts. Somalis fear that landlocked Ethiopia wants to balkanize their country into clan-based regions in order to get access to the sea. Herald Tribine

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Return of the Warlords—Meles Zenawi faces fierce opposition from various opposition groups inside Ethiopia who accuse him of illegal usurpation of political power, rigging election results, arresting his critics, in some cases, killing hundred of people taking part in peaceful protests against his political misrule. Thus, the sudden invasion of Somalia is a perfect strategy, for him to buttress his legitimacy as a national leader who can defend Ethiopia against Islamic terrorism. Internationally, he is able to position himself and his nation as a friend of the U.S .and Bush's strong man in the Horn of Africa in the US global war against Islamic terror. It is in this context, that Bush administration was able to quickly push through the Security Council the rather dubious resolution which gave Zenawi the green card to invade Somalia. . . . . Meles Zenawi is a Christian, who draws most of his political power and military support from his Tigre tribe. As a result, his invading soldiers in Somalia are largely from his Tigre Christian tribe. These soldiers do not speak the Somali language; once deep inside Somalia, they will be exposed to attacks by the locals. Ironically, Zenawi's invasion of Somalia has killed any chance the weak transitional federal government might have had to rule Somalia. The warlords were hated before by all Somalis for their corruption. Now they will be despised as traitors and stooges for the number one enemy of the Somali people, Ethiopia. Counterpunch

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Hopes and Prospects

By Noam Chomsky

In this urgent new book, Noam Chomsky surveys the dangers and prospects of our early twenty-first century. Exploring challenges such as the growing gap between North and South, American exceptionalism (including under President Barack Obama), the fiascos of Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S.-Israeli assault on Gaza, and the recent financial bailouts, he also sees hope for the future and a way to move forward—in the democratic wave in Latin America and in the global solidarity movements that suggest "real progress toward freedom and justice." Hopes and Prospects is essential reading for anyone who is concerned about the primary challenges still facing the human race. "This is a classic Chomsky work: a bonfire of myths and lies, sophistries and delusions. Noam Chomsky is an enduring inspiration all over the world—to millions, I suspect—for the simple reason that he is a truth-teller on an epic scale. I salute him." —John Pilger

In dissecting the rhetoric and logic of American empire and class domination, at home and abroad, Chomsky continues a longstanding and crucial work of elucidation and activism . . .the writing remains unswervingly rational and principled throughout, and lends bracing impetus to the real alternatives before us.—
Publisher's Weekly

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Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what's in your heart than what's in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America's shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, "Happy can make you money, but money can't make you happy."

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 15 February 2012




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